Uganda – African cows have big horns

Uganda is an interesting place. Other than the gorillas (a very expensive tourist attraction), it doesn’t have another obvious iconic tourist attraction. Yet it has been one of our favourite countries to visit so far.

The landscape is hilly and lush. Every patch of land, no matter how steep, seems to have something growing on it. There are collapsed volcanoes where people are growing crops up the sides and also inside the caldera.

The children are some of the friendliest and polite we have come across, with shouts of “hello, how are you” as we drive through lovely villages. (Easter Sunday was a particularly interesting day to be driving around and seeing lots of processions).

And Kampala has the best Mysore masala dosa we’ve ever had!

Kampala is also where we camped up at a place that has a backpackers hostel. We’ve stayed in some $2 flea pits in our time, but were amazed at how things have changed. For a few dollars more, you now get clean bathrooms, 24hour hot water showers, efficient laundry service, free computer access, wi-fi, mobile phone charging points, a pool table, 80s music(!), a well stocked bar, great food, and BBQ nights on Friday! This clearly reflects a change in the average teenager passing through, who carries a rucsac stuffed with iPad, iPhone, headphones, chargers and adapters (but rarely a book it seems) and spends their two/six week holiday on email, facebook and skype. It’s a miracle they’ve had time to see anything or talk to anyone face to face! Oh how I remember the good ol’ days, with a backpack full of smelly clothes, scrabbling around for coins to use in the payphone at the local post office (once it had been located), and stealing the bread rolls from breakfast for lunch. (OK, so maybe I still do the last one, but only sometimes….)

This was also the place where Bacon the Pig took a shine to Ven….

Camping has been pretty spectacular. We arrived just after dark at Bujagali Falls, near Jinja, and woke up to the most amazing view the following morning. And then it was off whitewater rafting along the Nile! The camping spot at Sipi Falls was equally scenic, on the edge of a cliff! And at Nkuruba Lake we had colobus monkeys playing right above our tent.

Everyone told us to eat lots of fruit in Uganda as it’s some of the best in the region. Ven was ecstatic when he found jack fruit! I was less happy with my leg room diminishing while it ripened.

A trip down the Nile to Murchison Falls was our first encounter with big game on this trip.

We also had another chance to see the Ankole-Watusi cows with their enormous horns that act as radiators!

And did we mention the gorillas…..? Wow!

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